I see your point regarding the epilogue, KRAD, but the more I think about it, I see that episode 20 is the climax for the one plotline that runs through the novel (i.e. the Typhon Pact). IMO, the actual confrontation should have been the one to end the novel - leaving the reader with a feeling that things have changed for the worse.
Ah, see, I disagree fundamentally here.
I didn't want
to end leaving the reader with a feeling that things have changed for the worse -- just with the feeling that things are different
. In particular that last scene of Pran lecturing to the class was extremely
important, hammering home the point that the Typhon Pact isn't
necessarily a threat to the Federation, and that we don't know yet what the results of this new alliance will be.
Even so, ASD joins other KRAD (and Mack.. and CLB..) novels as the epitome of 'Modern TrekLit". Again - well done, KRAD
Thank you very